How do you get your parent to stop driving?

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My father is 89 and continues to drive despite the fact that he has had several accidents. He thinks he's a good driver, denies any fault, and refuses to give up his keys. In the most recent incident he hit a person on a bike and claims he never did although the police report says otherwise. My brother wants to give him an ultimatum which puts my Dad in a position of losing dignity. This doesn't seem to be the way to go. Are there programs out there that can evaluate his driving abilities? Any suggestions?

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Contact the PD that responded to the accident with the biker; ask to speak with the officer or someone about their making a referral to the state agency handling driver's licenses.

It sounds as if you've seen the police report. Was there any indication that a referral would be made to revoke your father's license?

In my state, anonymous complaints can be made which will generate an "invitation" for the driver to appear before the licensing agency for an evaluation, which may or may not result in driver revocation.

Also contact your father's insurance carrier and explain the situation to them. They may cancel his insurance coverage. That should be a wake-up call, but if not, he could be in financial jeopardy if he causes another accident and there are serious physical injuries.

In the meantime, be prepared to step in and take him where he needs to go, either prefacing or following the trip with someplace he likes to go to eat, maybe a movie...someplace enjoyable.

Start a patterning experience that allows him to associate being chauffeured with being treated. That's what I did and it really helped.

If your famly has close relatives for whom he has respect, ask them to raise the issue with him as well. It was the people in my father's church who convinced him not to drive, not me.
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My youngest sister was killed by a driver who was not supposed to be on the road. PLEASE do whatever you can to stop someone like this. Their dignity, etc. is nothing compared to the corpse of an innocent person splattered on the road.
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This is a very serious problem.

If it were me, I would steal the keys and hide the car. Period. No keys? No car? You'll probably be saving a life. His dignity is trumped by the safety of the world at large.

To do nothing is negligent, in my opinion.
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Swing by the police station and ask to speak with an officer about your dad's driving. They can be very personable in dealing with the elderly. In the assisted living I worked at, an officer came to talk to one of our residents after his daughter told them about dad's terrible driving. Dad turned over the keys to the officer who in turn gave them to the daughter. I think it's an authority thing. Kind of like "The Doctor says............." They can also give you good advice. When they review dad's accident record and you tell them he denies it, they will work with you.
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Yes -- I don't know if people intend to convey this message, but it seems that we hear all sorts of cautionary tales about how they'll really start slipping once their driving privileges are taken away. It's very stressful to hear this, and it's such a useless statement. The issue at hand is: This person should no longer be driving. End of story. I can't believe how much I've tormented MYSELF with 5 full months of tactical maneuvers to get this b.s. thing taken care of. If we're accepting this responsibility -- and I don't believe we're necessarily obligated to, but since we're here on this site, we've accepted this -- then we've GOT to strap on some cojones and do it. Dignity, relationships, everything else be damned.
How do I sound? Brave??? I'll let you know how everything goes on Saturday. I'll probably need a martini afterwards.
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Truth be told, when my dad's doctor told him, when he was in advanced stages of leukemia, that he couldn't drive anymore, my dad died. I think it took all the fight out of him. But better, by far, than him killing a child.
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Brace yourself for a complete change in your dynamic with your father. Get the keys, and drive away with the car. It has gotten to that point just this week with my mother, and this is after coordinating things since March (getting her dr. to help with the paperwork, getting notice from the DMV, and then my mother refusing to accept that she cannot drive, and should not drive any longer). I was holding out hope that things could go a little more smoothly and my mother could save face, but like everything else in her life, that is not possible. It will not be pretty, believe me, and our relationship (overstatement--we don't really have a relationship, I just 'do' for her, and she resents everything I do, but relies on it completely) will continue to deteriorate, just like her brain. Sorry, but that's the truth.
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In some states, you can contact DMV anonymously and "turn in" an elderly driver who should no longer be driving. OTs will often do an evaluation of reaction time and explain to the patient that s/he can no longer drive safely. Can you have her doctor talk to her? Okay, losing dignity, give me a break. !!!! Dad can (and will) end up in jail on a second offense. But it sounds like no amount of reasoning is going to do anything, certainly not if your dad has dementia. you and your brother are going to have to bite the bullet here and take the keys, disable or sell the car. For all our sakes.
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Yes there are but good luck with that, her family Dr. would not sign off on any of the paperwork because she feels there is no reason that she could not drive!! My MIL (86) was in her last accident in February and totaled the car and believe it or not no one was seriously hurt which was a true blessing. She is stone deaf and refuses to get hearing aids and she still believes that the accident was not her fault. She was doing good up until recently and is now inisisting that we get her another car. I want nothing to do with her driving again and certainly would not allow anyone to drive with her. I do understand that she feels a loss of independence but who knows what would happen if she would be in another accident. I told my husband to just give her the insurance $$ if she keeps inisting and let her have it at. Honestly I do not think she would follow thru with getting another car because she wants someone to do that for her but that is not going to happen.
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